Defending against criminal drug charges
Drug crimes are often designated as either drug-defined offenses or drug-related offenses. A drug-defined offense refers to a direct violation of a law regulating or prohibiting the manufacture, possession, distribution or use of illegal drugs. If you have been charged with a drug crime in Ohio, it’s important to find a criminal defense lawyer experienced with drug-related offenses.
A drug-related offense, on the other hand, refers to a crime motivated by the offender’s drug use. This can mean crimes that are committed because the offender is currently under the influence of drugs, or crimes that occur as a result of the user’s desire to earn money to continue a drug habit. Offenses connected to drug distribution itself, such as violence against rival drug dealers, are also often considered drug-related offenses.
Don’t face drug trafficking charges alone
If you are brought up on drug trafficking charges, you face serious consequences and in certain cases may be tried under both state and federal jurisdictions. The criminal defense lawyers at Yavitch & Palmer provide confident advocacy, whether defending you in court or engaging in negotiations to reduce charges or sentencing.
Drug trafficking is one of the most severe drug charges, punishable by stiff penalties. Ohio law defines drug trafficking as:
- Knowingly selling or offering to sell a controlled substance
- Preparing controlled substances for shipment, transport, delivery, distribution, or distributing a controlled substance with the knowledge that the controlled substance is intended for sale or resale
Drug dealing is an umbrella term that includes the practice of drug trafficking, possession of drugs, the intent to distribute or sell or the resale of illegal drugs.
Some of the most common drugs involved in drug dealing charges are crack cocaine, marijuana, heroin and crystal meth. The punishments for drug dealing or drug trafficking can be very stiff. If the drug trafficking or dealing charges are severe enough, and if it is not possible to reach a deal with the prosecutor, the prison sentence you may be facing could even extend to a life sentence. In addition to a potential prison sentence, you and your family may face asset forfeiture, including that of your car and house.
In Ohio, drug possession is defined as the possession of illegal drugs for personal use, distribution, or sale. Drug possession also refers to the possession of controlled substances such as prescription medications, and can include the possession of compounds or mixtures that are often used to make or manufacture illegal drugs. The possession or use of prescribed medication without a prescription is equally serious.
Intent to sell or distribute
If the drug possession charges being brought against you include a charge of intent to sell or distribute, your punishment could be even more serious than they would be for simple possession. The distinction of “intent to distribute” is generally determined by the amount of the drug found in your possession, and the understood rate at which a person could use that drug alone.
Contact a Columbus drug crimes attorney
If you or someone you know is facing drug possession charges in Ohio, contact our Columbus criminal defense attorneys at 614-224-6142 or fill out our contact form.